Latest Maple Leafs, Red Wings & Devils Rumors – August 2, 2013.

The Leafs could be forced to trade Cody Franson or buy out John-Michael Liles, Cory Emmerton could be odd man out with the Red Wings, plus updates on Adam Henrique and Johan Hedberg.

Will the Leafs trade Cody Franson (pictured) or buy out John-Michael Liles?

Will the Leafs trade Cody Franson (pictured) or buy out John-Michael Liles?

NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos believes Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis must either trade defenseman Cody Franson or buy out John-Michael Liles to free up cap space for 2013-14.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nonis could also demote a player or two with contracts worth less than $1 million this coming season, but that would be merely a stop-gap and wouldn’t fully address the problem. Nonis could also try trading someone else, like Dion Phaneuf, but given this summer’s stagnant trade market, that doesn’t appear a likely option.

Franson would have more value on this summer’s trade market (young, affordable) but he was also the leading scorer among Leafs defensemen and made significant improvement under coach Randy Carlyle.

It’s unlikely Nonis will find many takers for Liles on the trade market given his age (32), salary ($3.875 million cap hit) and his limited no-trade clause.

The common sense solution is a buyout, which the Leafs are allowed to do because they had a player file for arbitration. The buyout window is from August 2 to August 4.

A buyout of Liles is staggered so that it only costs $875K per season in the first two years, jumps to over $2 million against the cap in year three, then falls to a more manageable $1.25 million per season in the final three years. Yes, that’s still expensive, but if the salary cap rises over that period, the Leafs (hockey’s wealthiest team) can afford it.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James believes if Darren Helm is healthy this coming season, Cory Emmerton could become odd man out on the Red Wings.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti reports Devils forward Adam Henrique isn’t worried by the fact he’s yet to re-sign a new contract, saying there’s no real deadline toward getting a deal done, but hopes it’s done soon. Former Devils goalie Johan Hedberg, meanwhile, has received some interest from NHL and European teams, but nothing that was a fit with his family planning to live in New Jersey after spending the summer in Sweden.


  1. do we make it three days in a row talking about franson?
    how bout them Jays?
    ARod won’t get life, he’ll most likely miss this and next season.

    • You think he is going to fight a suspension and possibly lose in the neighborhood of 60 million dollars? no I think your right he is gone 2 years

  2. At what point will the Leafs owners balk at more buyouts?

    They may have all the money in the world but nobody – especially people in business – likes being treated like a bottomless piggy bank.

    • Hopefully soon like now soon, not that Im a big fan of Liles but if we buy out Liles it makes the organization look like even more of a joke then it has in the past using 3 buyouts in 4 months.

  3. Expect the Rangers to make a trade for cap reason before the start of the season, or early in the season, and the Panthers now have a glut of centers, which means they may trade one as well.

  4. Does all the keep Franson at the expense of dropping Phaneuf really make the Maple Leafs better? I just think that thise exposes the sportwriter who generates the possibilty as one with little idea of the players.
    Granted, some teams make decisions to cast off big $ players whn Cap room is limited, but they usually aren’t BETTER than the guy the team still wants to retain. Unless the team is is in full scale rebuilding mode.

  5. Wow I thought buying out Liles just to give Franson his extension was a bad idea. Trading Dion to sign Franson takes the cake…Heres an idea trade Franson while his value is high get a very good prospect possibly with a pick and use a D man who plays D! Hainsey with Gardiner sounds good to me might be able to pick him up cheap at most for around 3 which he made last year with a short short term deal. There are other options then buy outs and trading Phaneuf….again wow 1 good year this is getting as bad as Liewicki planing the parade route with the way people are looking at Franson

  6. Addition by subtraction would be trading Phaneuf. Letting the rest of the defence play more minutes would only be an improvement.

    The Leafs will never resign Phaneuf long term to a big contract anyways.

    • Ya we should play Franson and Gunnarson 25 minutes a night good idea….the only addition there will be goals against.

  7. Franson for Henrique. :-)

    • Franson for Merrill and any of Matteau/Josefson/R. Boucher is more realistic. How bout giving us Kessel for Tedenby? The other 29 teams aren’t solely existing to make your Leafs better.

      • It was a joke hence the smiley face, using 2 people mentioned in the above artiicles

        • I know Shticky, your comment definitely had relevance. I just meant that the Devils rely on Henrique as much as the Leafs rely on Kessel and neither are likely to go anywhere anytime soon. I absolutely would love to have Franson on my offensively-challenged team but knows we’d lose out bigtime if Nonis put him on the market.

  8. Franson probably won’t bring much back in return if he is asking for big dollars.

    • Really a prospect isnt much to ask maybe a second with it another example is Dallas with out much of a blueline there definately in the way of pp quarterbacks for the next couple years maybe Franson for Radek Faksa. Really all Im getting at is we have depth with the game Franson plays, we shouldnt hamstring ourselves tryin to keep all of it when there are other needs we could address. Kadri may take over number 1 center and Bozak as number 2 beyond that we have Bolland for 1 year who in all likely hood will be to expensive to resign and no other centers besides Colbourne. We have no big D men who play a defensive game. I get that Franson was pretty good last year but realistically we cant afford him if we are talking of buy outs and trading away what little depth we have elsewhere to keep him. There is no saying Randy cant do for Ranger what he did for Franson.

  9. The Red Wings are reported to be in the market for defensive depth and the Maple Leafs are looking for cap space to help retain Franson and Kadri. So: Gunnarsson and Liles for Quincey, Miller and Eaves. Obviously, this gives Detroit the depth they seek. This also gives Toronto (per Cap Geek numbers) $750,000 in immediate cap space. Additionally, if both Eaves and Miller were demoted then only $700,000 of their combined $2,550,000 total salary would count against the cap. Whereas if Liles were to be Marlied, then $2,950,000 of his salary would still be counted against the cap. I know some will say that this won’t happen because these two teams, neither of whom I am a fan incidentally, will be division rivals moving forward. But, imo none of these players are game changers such that their current team should not better themselves by trading them to a division rival.

    • One of the better ideas Ive heard

      • dumb … the Leaves didn’t sign Gunnarsson to trade him

        • And your solution would be? Or you just using your keen observation skills Ed?

    • Wings might be pursuaded to move Eaves, and should be able to be pursuaded to move Quincey, but I doubt they give up Miller.

  10. Leafs could trade phaneuf for Merrill and mateau or Kerri and a second d. There is no use saying jersey won’t overpay to make their team better this year is foolish. They will overpay for any player right now because if they don’t, they will be giving up a top 5 pick this year for nothing. I see them giving up Merrill and mateau for phaneuf plus in a heartbeat. They will not run the chance of giving up that top pick for a ayer not with the team anymore

  11. Any team that would trade for Liles is just as brain dead as say…….signing Jeff Finger to a $3.5 million/yr contract.

    • Moron comment of the day

  12. I honestly used to read the comment section on this site because it was a good back and fourth discussing pros and cons over various rumours. The comments following the Franson rumours are just ridiculous. I’ve been reading this site for a solid 7-8 years and the Franson rumours have lead to an all out flame war where putting each other down has taken precident over the content at hand.

    Leafs fans and Leafs haters need to settle down. We’re talking about a defenseman that has had one season with the Leafs. Of course everyone is going to be conflicted over his worth, but seeing hundreds of comments arguing over his worth is just ridiculous. We’re not even talking about a super star or all star here. If this guy didn’t play for Toronto nobody would really care. Theres no need to turn this forum into an all out flame war over a guy that nobody cared about a year ago and that apparently half of you dont care about having on the Leafs now.

    I miss the hockey season too but get bent out of shape over Cody Franson isn’t going to make it the summer any shorter. There are also 29 other teams in the league, some of which have players on the block or unsigned that are much better than Franson.